U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi Calls Cannabis “Therapeutic”

U.S. Politicians Debate Whether to Include Cannabis Businesses in COVID-19 Economic Relief

Does cannabis play a role in the effort to help Americans stay afloat during the COVID-19 pandemic? That’s what many U.S. politicians have been arguing about in recent weeks. Currently, the debate is centered around whether or not to include cannabis-related enterprises in the coronavirus stimulus bill – and this debate has led to one eye-opening quote from a prominent politician.

Essentially, the coronavirus stimulus bill is a massive – as in, trillions of dollars – economic relief plan aimed at assisting American citizens, businesses, and industries. With such a hefty price tag, it’s easy to see why different political figures have clashing ideas about who should receive what sum of money.

The relatively new legal cannabis industry may not be an obvious priority for funding, but some politicians have argued that it requires some level of financial support through the bill. One of those politicians is Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, who recently defended the decision to offer cannabis businesses access to banking protections through the bill.

This Earned Pelosi And Others Backlash

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell fought Pelosi’s stance, saying that it wasn’t “directly related” to the pandemic, and therefore not an essential thing to include. Pelosi’s response echoed the sentiments of many cannabis users who have long felt that their voices have not been heard in a political context:

“I don’t agree with you that cannabis is not related to [the pandemic],” Pelosi said. “This is a therapy that has proven successful.”

Pelosi recognizes that people often turn to cannabis to relieve or cope with stress, and the pandemic has certainly been a stressful experience for most people.

Pelosi did not back up her claims with a specific study or piece of data, but one could speculate that she has done her research. The Growth Op notes that recent studies, like one that suggests that cannabis could prevent the spread of the virus, is out there, but has not been peer-reviewed.

The fight over Pelosi’s stance on cannabis continued, as McConnell suggested that too much emphasis was being placed on cannabis. He specifically pointed out that the word “cannabis” appeared in the Democrats’ proposed stimulus package more than the words “hire” or “job” – as if the two concepts are in competition with each other. McConnell then sarcastically referred to the section of the bill that called for more research on women- and minority-owned businesses in the cannabis industry as “the cherry on top”.

The debate will continue to wage on, as politicians continue to prepare for the remainder of the pandemic and the toll it will take on the U.S.


Photo Credit: Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi speaking with attendees at the 2019 California Democratic Party State Convention at the George R. Moscone Convention Center in San Francisco, California. Photo by Gage Skidmore. https://www.flickr.com/photos/gageskidmore/47998982122/